New York City Police Department
The New York City Police Department (NYPD), officially the City of New York Police Department, is the primary law enforcement agency within the City of New York. Established on May 23, 1845, the NYPD is one of the oldest police departments in the United States, and is the largest police force in the United States. The NYPD headquarters is at 1 Police Plaza, located on Park Row in Lower Manhattan near City Hall. The NYPD's regulations are compiled in title 38 of the New York City Rules. The NYC Transit Police and NYC Housing Authority Police Department were fully integrated into the NYPD in 1995. Dedicated units of the NYPD include the Emergency Service Unit, K9, harbor patrol, air support, bomb squad, counter-terrorism, criminal intelligence, anti-organized crime, narcotics, public transportation, and public housing units.
|City of New York Police Department|
|Common name||New York City Police Department|
|Formed||May 23, 1845|
|Annual budget||US$6 billion (2020)|
|Operations jurisdiction||New York City, New York, United States|
|Size||468.484 sq mi (1,213.37 km2)|
|Population||8,398,748 (est. 2018)|
|Legal jurisdiction||As per operations jurisdiction|
|Headquarters||One Police Plaza, Lower Manhattan|
|Police Commissioner responsible|
The NYPD employs around 55,000 people, including almost 35,000 uniformed officers. According to the official CompStat database, the NYPD responded to nearly 500,000 reports of crime and made over 200,000 arrests during 2019. In 2020, it had a budget of US$6 billion .
The NYPD has a history of police brutality, corruption, and discrimination on the basis of race, religion and sexuality, which critics argue persists to the present. Due to its high-profile location in the largest city and media center in the United States, fictionalized versions of the NYPD and its officers have frequently been portrayed in novels, radio, television, motion pictures, and video games.
In 1992, Mayor David Dinkins created an independent Civilian Complaint Review Board for the NYPD. In response to this, some NYPD officers violently protested and rioted. They blocked traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge, demonstrated at City Hall and shouted racial epithets. The protests were sponsored by the NYPD union.
In 1994 the NYPD developed the CompStat computer system for tracking crime geographically, which is now in use by other police departments in the US and Canada. Research is mixed on whether CompStat had an impact on crime rates.
In 2021, the NYPD ended the law enforcement of previous marijuana crimes other than driving under the influence.
As of July 2020, the NYPD's current authorized uniformed strength is 35,783. There are also 19,454 civilian employees, including approximately 4,500 auxiliary police officers, 5,500 school safety agents, and 3,500 traffic enforcement agents currently employed by the department. The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York (NYC PBA), the largest municipal police union in the United States, represents over 50,000 active and retired NYC police officers.
Of the entire 35,783-member police force in 2020: 47% are white and 53% are members of minority groups.
Of 23,464 officers on patrol:
- 43% (10,162) are non-Hispanic white
- 57% (13,302) are Black, Latino (of any race), or Asian or Asian-American.
Of 5,289 detectives:
- 52% (2,771) are non-Hispanic white
- 48% (2,518) are Black, Latino (of any race), or Asian or Asian-American.
Of 4,550 sergeants:
- 52% (2,379) are non-Hispanic white
- 48% (2,171) are Black, Latino (of any race), or Asian or Asian-American.
Of 1,706 lieutenants:
- 59% (1,014) are non-Hispanic white
- 41% (692) are Black, Latino (of any race), or Asian or Asian-American.
Of 355 captains:
- 62% (219) are non-Hispanic white
- 38% (136) are Black, Latino (of any race), or Asian or Asian-American.
Of 14 police chiefs:
- 57% (8) are non-Hispanic white and
- 43% (6) are non-white.
Women in the NYPD
The highest ranked woman in the NYPD history is Juanita N. Holmes who has been Chief of Patrol Bureau since 2020.
The NYPD has a broad array of specialized services, including the Emergency Service Unit, K9, harbor patrol, air support, bomb squad, counter-terrorism, criminal intelligence, anti-gang, anti-organized crime, narcotics, public transportation, and public housing units. The NYPD Intelligence Division & Counter-Terrorism Bureau has officers stationed in eleven cities internationally.
In 2019 the NYPD responded to 482,337 reports of crime, and made 214,617 arrests. There were 95,606 major felonies reported in 2019, compared to over half a million per year when crime in New York City peaked during the crack epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2019)
Officers graduate from the Police Academy after five and a half to six months (or sometimes more) of training in various academic, physical, and tactical fields. For the first 18 months of their careers, they are designated as "Probationary Police Officers", or more informally, "rookies".
There are three career "tracks" in the NYPD: supervisory, investigative, and specialist. The supervisory track consists of nine ranks; promotion to the ranks of sergeant, lieutenant, and captain are made via competitive civil service examinations. After reaching the rank of captain, promotion to the ranks of deputy inspector, inspector, deputy chief, assistant chief, (bureau) chief and chief of department is at the discretion of the police commissioner. Promotion from the rank of police officer to detective is discretionary by the police commissioner or required by law when the officer has performed eighteen months or more of investigative duty.
Badges in the New York City Police Department are referred to as "shields" (the traditional term), though not all badge designs are strictly shield-shaped. Some officers have used "Pottsy" badges, "dupes," or duplicate badges, as officers are punished for losing their shield by also losing up to ten days' pay.
Every rank has a different badge design (with the exception of "police officer" and "probationary police officer") and, upon change in rank, officers receive a new badge. Lower-ranked police officers are identified by their shield numbers, and tax registry number. Lieutenants and above do not have shield numbers and are identified by tax registry number. All sworn members of the NYPD have their ID card photos taken against a red background. Civilian employees of the NYPD have their ID card photos taken against a blue background, signifying that they are not commissioned to carry a firearm. All ID cards have an expiration date.
|Title||Insignia||Badge design||Badge color||Badge number||Uniform|
|Police Commissioner||Gold, with silver star(s)||No||White shirt,|
dark blue peaked cap,
gold hat badge
|Chief of Department||Medallion with eagle, oak leaves and star(s)|
Bureau Chief Chaplain †
Department Chief Surgeon
|Assistant Chief (Patrol Borough Commander)
Assistant Chief Chaplain †
Assistant Chief Surgeon
|Deputy Chief (Patrol Borough Deputy Commander)
Deputy Chief Chaplain †
|Chaplain and Surgeon badges differ|
|Chaplain and Surgeon badges differ||Gold|
|Sergeant||(sleeve)||Yes||Navy blue shirt,|
gold hat badge
|Detective (grades 3rd–1st)||None|
matching hat badge
|Navy blue shirt,|
silver hat badge with matching number
|Probationary Police Officer|
|Recruit Officer||Yes||Slate grey,|
black garrison cap
^ †: Uniform rank that has no police powers
Organization and structure
The Department is administered and governed by the Police Commissioner, who is appointed by the mayor. Technically, the Commissioner serves a five-year term; as a practical matter, they serve at the mayor's pleasure. The commissioner in turn appoints numerous deputy commissioners. By default, the commissioner and their subordinate deputies are civilians under an oath of office and are not sworn officers. However, a commissioner who comes up from the sworn ranks retains the status and statutory powers of a police officer while serving as commissioner. This affects their police pensions, and their ability to carry a firearm without a pistol permit. Some police commissioners carry a personal firearm, but they also have a full-time security detail.
Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners are administrators who specialize in areas of great importance to the Department, such as counterterrorism, support services, public information, legal matters, intelligence, and information technology. However, as civilian administrators, deputy commissioners are prohibited from taking operational control of a police situation (the Commissioner and the first deputy commissioner may take control of these situations, however). Within the rank structure, there are also designations, known as "grades", that connote differences in duties, experience, and pay. However, supervisory functions are generally reserved for the rank of sergeant and above.
Office of the Chief of Department
The Chief of Department serves as the senior sworn member of the NYPD. Rodney K. Harrison is the 41st individual to hold the post, which prior to 1987 was known as the chief of operations and before that as chief inspector.
The Department is divided into twenty bureaus, which are typically commanded by a uniformed bureau chief (such as the chief of patrol and the chief of housing) or a civilian deputy commissioner (such as the Deputy Commissioner of Information Technology). The bureaus fit under four umbrellas: Patrol, Transit & Housing, Investigative, and Administrative. Bureaus are often subdivided into smaller divisions and units.
|Patrol Services Bureau||Chief of Patrol||Oversees the majority of the NYPD's uniformed patrol officers||Eight borough commands, each headed by an assistant chief, which are further divided into 77 police precincts, commanded by a captain or inspector|
|Special Operations Bureau||Chief of Special Operations||Manages NYPD responses to major events and incidents that require specifically trained and equipped personnel||Emergency Service Unit, Aviation Unit, Harbor Unit, Mounted Unit, Strategic Response Group, Crisis Outreach and Support Unit|
|Transit Bureau||Chief of Transit||Oversees NYPD transit officers in the New York City Subway||Twelve transit districts, each located within or adjacent to the subway system, and overseen by three borough commands: Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Bronx/Queens
Specialized units within the Transit Bureau include Borough Task Forces, Anti-Terrorism Unit, Citywide Vandals Task Force, Canine Unit, Special Projects Unit, and MetroCard Fraud Task Force
|Housing Bureau||Chief of Housing||Oversees law enforcement within New York City public housing||Nine police service areas, each covering a collection of housing developments|
|Transportation Bureau||Chief of Transportation||Manages highway patrol and traffic management in New York City||Traffic Management Center, Highway District, Traffic Operations District, Traffic Enforcement District|
|Counterterrorism Bureau||Chief of Counterterrorism||Counters, investigates, analyzes, and prevents terrorism in New York City||Critical Response Command, Counterterrorism Division, Terrorism Threat Analysis Group, Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, World Trade Center Command|
|Crime Control Strategies Bureau||Chief of Crime Control Strategies||Oversees the analysis and monitoring of trends across New York City, develops strategies targeted to reducing crime, and applies strategies to the NYPD||CompStat Unit, Crime Analysis Unit|
|Detective Bureau||Chief of Detectives||Oversees NYPD detectives in preventing, detecting, and investigating crime in New York City||Borough Investigative Commands, Special Victims Division, Forensic Investigations Division, Special Investigations Division, Criminal Enterprise Division, Fugitive Enforcement Division, Real Time Crime Center, District Attorneys Squad, Grand Larceny Division, Gun Violence Suppression Division, Vice Enforcement Division|
|Intelligence Bureau||Chief of Intelligence||Oversees the collection and analysis of data to detect and disrupt criminal and terrorist activity in New York City||Intelligence Operations and Analysis Section, Criminal Intelligence Section|
|Internal Affairs Bureau||Deputy Commissioner of Internal Affairs||Investigates police misconduct within the NYPD||N/A|
|Employee Relations||Deputy Commissioner for Employee Relations||Oversees the fraternal, religious, and line organizations of the NYPD, as well as ceremonial customs||Employee Relations Section, Chaplains Unit, Ceremonial Unit, Sports Unit|
|Collaborative Policing||Deputy Commissioner of Collaborative Policing||Works with non-profits, community-based organizations, faith-based communities, other law enforcement agencies and other New York City stakeholders on public safety initiatives||N/A|
|Community Affairs Bureau||Chief of Community Affairs||Works with community leaders, civic organizations, block associations, and the public to educate on police policies and practices; also oversees NYPD officers in schools and investigates juvenile delinquency||Community Outreach Division, Crime Prevention Division, Juvenile Justice Division, School Safety Division|
|Information Technology Bureau||Deputy Commissioner of Information Technology||Oversees the maintenance, research, development and implementation of technology to support strategies, programs and procedures within the NYPD||Administration, Fiscal Affairs, Strategic Technology, IT Services Division, Life-Safety Systems, Communications Division|
|Legal Matters||Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters||Assists NYPD personnel regarding department legal matters; controversially has a memorandum of understanding with the Manhattan District Attorney to selectively prosecute New York City Criminal Court summons court cases||Civil Enforcement Unit, Criminal Section, Civil Section, Legislative Affairs Unit, Document Production/FOIL, Police Action Litigation Section|
|Personnel||Chief of Personnel||Oversees recruitment and selection of personnel, as well as managing the human resource functions of the NYPD||Candidate Assessment Division, Career Enhancement Division, Employee Management Division, Personnel Orders Section, Staff Services Section|
|Public Information||Deputy Commissioner of Public Information||Works with media organizations to provide information to the public||N/A|
|Risk Management||Assistant Chief, Risk Management||Oversees the performance of police officers and identifies officers who may require enhanced training or supervision||N/A|
|Support Services Bureau||Deputy Commissioner of Support Services||Manages equipment, maintenance, and storage, primarily evidence storage and fleet maintenance||Fleet Services Division, Property Clerk Division, Central Records Division, Printing Section|
|Training Bureau||Chief of Training||Oversees the training of recruits, officers, staff, and civilians||Recruit Training Section, Physical Training and Tactics Department, Tactical Training Unit, Firearms and Tactics Section, COBRA Training, In-Service Tactical Training Unit, Driver Education and Training Unit, Computer Training Unit, Civilian Training Program, School Safety Training Unit, Instructor Development Unit, Criminal Investigation Course, Leadership Development Section, Citizens Police Academy|
In the 1990s the department developed a CompStat system of management which has also since been established in other cities. The NYPD has extensive crime scene investigation and laboratory resources, as well as units that assist with computer crime investigations. In 2005, the NYPD established a "Real Time Crime Center" to assist in investigations; this is essentially a searchable database the pulls information from departmental records, including traffic tickets, court summonses, and previous complaints to reports, as well as arrest reports. The database contains databases to identify individuals based on tattoos, body marks, teeth, and skin conditions, based on police records.
NYPD also maintains the Domain Awareness System, a network that provides information and analytics to police, drawn from a variety of sources, including a network of 9,000 publicly and privately owned surveillance cameras, license plate readers, ShotSpotter data, NYPD databases and radiation and chemical sensors. The Domain Awareness System of surveillance was developed as part of Lower Manhattan Security Initiative in a partnership between the NYPD and Microsoft. It allows the NYPD to track surveillance targets and gain detailed information about them. It also has access to data from at least 2 billion license plate readings, 100 million summonses, 54 million 911 calls, 15 million complaints, 12 million detective reports, 11 million arrests and 2 million warrants. The data from the 9,000 CCTV cameras is kept for 30 days. Text records are searchable. The system is connected to 9,000 video cameras around New York City.
In 2020, the NYPD deployed a robotic dog, known as Digidog, manufactured by Boston Dynamics. The robotic dog has cameras which send back real-time footage along with lights and two-way communication, and it is able to navigate on its own using artificial intelligence. Reaction by locals to Digidog was mixed. Deployment of Digidog led to condemnation from the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project and the American Civil Liberties Union due to privacy concerns. In response to its deployment, a city councilmember has proposed a law banning armed robots; this would not apply to Digidog as Digidog is not armed and Boston Dynamics prohibits arming of its robots. On April 24, 2021, U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres proposed new federal legislation requiring police departments receiving federal funds to report use of surveillance technology to the Department of Homeland Security and Congress. The NYPD states that the robot is meant for hostage, terrorism, bomb threat, and hazardous material situations, and that it was properly disclosed to the public under current law. Following continued push back against Digidog, including opposition to the system's $94,000 price tag, the NYPD announced on April 28, 2021 that its lease would be terminated.
The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute has been regularly measuring public opinion of the NYPD since 1997, when just under 50% of the public approved of the job the NYPD were doing. Approval peaked at 78% in 2002 following the World Trade Center terrorist attacks in September 2001, and has ranged between 52 and 72% since.
In 2017 the Quinnipiac poll found that New York City voters approve of the way NYPD, in general, does its job by a margin of 67-25%. Approval was 79-15 percent among white voters, 52-37 percent among black voters, and 73-24 percent among Hispanic voters. 86% of voters said crime is a serious problem, 71% said police brutality is a serious problem and 61% said police corruption is a serious problem.
A 2020 poll commissioned by Manhattan Institute for Policy Research reported that the public approve of the NYPD 53% to 40% against, again with strong racial differences: 59% of whites and Asians approved, as did 51% of Hispanics, whereas 51% of black residents disapproved.
Corruption and misconduct
The NYPD has a history of police brutality, misconduct, and corruption, as well as discrimination on the basis of race, religion and sexuality. Critics, including from within the NYPD, have accused the NYPD of manipulating crime statistics. In 2009, NYPD officer Adrian Schoolcraft was arrested, abducted by his fellow officers and involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric hospital after he provided evidence of manipulation of crime statistics (intentional under reporting of crimes) and intentional wrongful arrests (to meet arrest quotas). He filed a federal suit against the department, which the city settled before trial in 2015, also giving him back pay for the period when he was suspended.
The Knapp Commission found in 1970 that the NYPD had systematic corruption problems.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board is an all-civilian, 13-member panel tasked with investigating misconduct or lesser abuse accusations against NYPD officers, including use of excessive force, abuse of authority, discourtesy and offensive language. Complaints against officers may be filed online, by mail, by phone or in person at any NYPD station. On June 8, 2020, both houses of the New York state assembly passed the Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Act, which provides that any police officer in the state of New York who injures or kills somebody through the use of "a chokehold or similar restraint" can be charged with a class C felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the police reforms into law on June 12, 2020, which he described as "long overdue."
During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, many NYPD officers refused to wear face masks while policing protests related to racial injustice, contrary to the recommendations of health experts and authorities. During the George Floyd protests, The New York Times reported that more than 60 videos showed NYPD police attacking protesters, many of whom were attacked without cause. Included in these attacks were the 'kettling' of protesters, an officer removing the mask of a protester and pepper spraying him, and an incident where police vehicles were driven into a crowd. An investigation by New York City’s Department of Investigation concluded that the NYPD had exercised excessive force during the George Floyd protests.
The NYPD is affiliated with the New York City Police Foundation and the New York City Police Museum. It also runs a Youth Police academy to provide a positive interaction with police officers and to educate young people about the challenges and responsibility of police work. The department also operates the Citizens Police Academy, which educates the public on basic law and policing procedures.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, the NYPD has lost 932 officers in the line of duty since 1849. This figure includes officers from agencies that were later absorbed by or became a part of the modern NYPD, in addition to the NYPD itself. This number also includes 28 officers killed on and off duty by gunfire of other officers on duty. 286 officers have been shot and killed by a criminal. The NYPD lost 23 officers in the September 11, 2001 attacks, not including another 247 who later died of 9/11-related illnesses. 8 NYPD officers died from COVID-19. The NYPD has more line of duty deaths than any other American law enforcement agency.
The New York City Police Department vehicle fleet consists of 9,624 police cars, 11 boats, eight helicopters, and numerous other vehicles. Responsibility of operation and maintenance lies with the NYPD's Support Services Bureau.
The current colors of NYPD vehicles is an all-white body with two blue stripes along each side. The word "POLICE" is printed in small text above the front wheel wells, and as "NYPD Police" above the front grille. The NYPD patch is emblazoned on both sides, either on or just forward of the front doors. The letters "NYPD" are printed in blue Rockwell Extra Bold font on the front doors, and the NYPD motto "Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect" is printed on the rear ones. The unit's shop number is printed on the rear decklid. The shop number is also printed on the rear side panels above the gas intake, along with the number of the unit's assigned precinct.
A modified paint scheme, with dark blue (or black, for some Auxiliary units) body and white stripes on the sides was used for some divisions. The text was also white. This was phased out in favor of a modified version of the regular scheme, with the word(s) "AUXILIARY", "SCHOOL SAFETY" or "TRAFFIC" on the rear quarter panels and trunk.
New NYPD officers are allowed to choose from one of three 9mm service pistols: the SIG Sauer P226 DAO (Double Action Only), Glock 17 Gen4, and Glock 19 Gen4. All duty handguns are modified to a 12-pound (53 N) NY-2 trigger pull.
The Smith & Wesson 5946 was issued to new recruits in the past; however, the pistol has been discontinued. While it is no longer an option for new hires, officers who were issued the weapon may continue to use it.
Shotgun-certified officers were authorized to carry Ithaca 37 shotguns, which are being phased out in favor of the newer Mossberg 590. Officers and detectives belonging to the NYPD's Emergency Service Unit, Counter-terrorism Bureau and Strategic Response Group are armed with a range of select-fire weapons and long guns, such as the Colt M4A1 carbine and similar-pattern Colt AR-15 rifles, Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun, and the Remington Model 700 bolt-action rifle.
The firearms approved by the NYPD for off-duty carry are the Glock 26, Smith & Wesson 3914 DAO, Smith & Wesson 3953TSW, Smith & Wesson Model 640 (.38 revolver), Springfield Armory XD-S, Sig Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson M&P Shield and the Beretta 8000D Mini Cougar.
Discontinued from service
From 1926 until 1986 the standard weapons of the department were the Smith & Wesson Model 10 and the Colt Official Police .38 Special revolvers with four-inch barrels. Female officers had the option to choose to carry a three-inch barrel revolver instead of the normal four-inch model due to its lighter weight. Prior to 1994, the standard weapon of the NYPD was the Smith & Wesson Model 64 DAO a .38 Special revolver with a three- or four-inch barrel and the Ruger Police Service Six with a four-inch barrel. This type of revolver was called the Model NY-1 by the department. After the switch in 1994 to semiautomatic pistols, officers who privately purchased revolvers before January 1, 1994, were allowed to use them for duty use until August 31, 2018. They were grandfathered in as approved off-duty guns.
Prior to the issuing of the 9mm semi-automatic pistol NYPD detectives and plainclothes officers often carried the Colt Detective Special and/or the Smith & Wesson Model 36 "Chief's Special" .38 Special caliber snub-nosed (2-inch) barrel revolvers for their ease of concealment while dressed in civilian clothes.
The Kahr K9 9 mm pistol was an approved off-duty/backup weapon from 1998 to 2011. It was pulled from service because it could not be modified to a 12-pound trigger pull.
- Law enforcement in New York City
- New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings
- Police surveillance in New York City
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